There is a point to this post towards the end, so please stick with me a minute…
October and November now cause me grief. Technically the last 10 days of October through November. Last year wasn’t a problem – I was up North every weekend hunting, but my hunting buddy moved to South Carolina two weeks ago so I was in the wind about whether or not I would make the trek alone and camp in a tent rather than a heated trailer. Judging by the weather lately I’m glad I decided not to, even if I miss the experience greatly. That notwithstanding, this year I have some tough decisions to make about how I will proceed with moving my cycling indoors.
First, I’ve got to switch the tires around on my bike – put an older worn tire on the back so I don’t wear down a perfectly good tire for next season, rotate my current back tire to the front and store the front tire to be put on the back at the beginning of next season. By itself, this is no hill for a mountain climber, but that also means if I want to ride my road bike between now and when the snow flies, I’ll be riding on a substandard tire.
The weather is also an issue – this is Michigan, so for the next two months we’re looking at high temps on some days up to 65-70 degrees and on others, 30-40. Usually we can see day-to-day temp swings as much as 20-30 degrees. Add to that the threat of rain which changes from hour to hour, and the possibility of gale force wind conditions on any given day, and it becomes near impossible to plan anything out for certain. This does not bode well for my daily riding habit – check that, maybe addiction would be a better term, eh? Probably.
Here’s the deal. I’d rather chew my hand off than ride inside when it’s nice outside. I simply won’t sacrifice the fresh air – even in 20-30 mph winds. I also won’t ride in the rain because preservation of my steeds is priority number one (and I’d rather not be miserable if I don’t have to)… So I’m in this little limbo where I’ll have to bring my bike with me to the office on certain days and take it home on certain days so I can get my rides in to keep my tone and fitness up.
This meant nothing last year. I was in a training groove but that was nothing compared to this year. This year I am closer the body that I’ve always wanted than at any point in my life – ever. I’m a little skinnier than I’d like, maybe, but I’ve got the nice “V” shape going, my mini-gut is all but gone, and my legs and butt are flat-out fabulous – first time I’ve had a decent butt in my life – you can bounce a quarter off it. I refuse to let it go and try to make up for it next year. I worked my ass off to get here, even if I did enjoy almost every minute of it, I’m NOT giving it up. I’m not going back because I’d rather not take the time to set up properly now.
So this morning, I left just a little early, took my time and packed slowly so I wouldn’t forget anything, and brought my bike, my tire, my tools and some of my clothes to the office to get set up. As busy as I am today, fifteen minutes to set up and get prepared is doable. My bike was loaded on the trainer, tire switched out, for my first ride before my phone rang the first time (just before 7 am). With rain in the forecast for today, it’s a perfect day to start keeping on with what I’ve built – a happy, healthy me.
So I’m sipping on my second cup of coffee before I left this morning, thinking about all of the work I’ve got to do today (and writing this post sure isn’t helping) and how it’s going to be really inconvenient to deal with the bike and everything else – maybe I should just take the day off. After all, I’m still inside my two-week post season slow-down. I’m managing my diet fairly enough, I’ve cut back a little bit, what’s the big deal anyway?
This is the point: I didn’t get to where I am by taking it easy. I certainly didn’t get here by taking days off whenever things got difficult. I didn’t get to this point, sitting here in my office with literally hundreds of reasons to be thankful and happy by choosing the couch (or office chair) over my bike and running shoes. I got here because I ride and run when it’s tough, when most other people would say, “not today, it’s too [insert excuse here]. I like what I see in the mirror because on those days where I was a little tired or a little sore, on those days where my “want to” stayed in bed, I got out and got busy living anyway. That’s what it takes.
The bright side is that misery is always refundable. I can go back to hating my gut and my flat ass any time I want, all I have to do is give in. All I have to do is stay in bed – just once, because if I do it the first time, the second is always easier – and watch my flat belly and my stupendous legs disappear… After all, isn’t life about being happy with who we are?
Not in this lifetime, baby. Not anymore. You can have that lie. There very well may be someone out there who is stuck with a big fat ass and no will to knock it off, but I’m not going to be one of them. My days of finding excuses rather than solutions are back there, behind me.
Notice the picture in the background? It says PERSEVERANCE. That it’s been hanging on my wall for the last eight or ten years. It is not a coincidence.